Regional Policy Forum - West and Central Africa

This two-day forum held in Dakar, Senegal between 2-3 October was convened by OCHA and brought together over 50 people representing more than a dozen different countries in the region. Participants came from national and regional humanitarian organizations, national academic institutions, civil society groups, the private sector, as well as representatives of select international organizations, to discuss issues around improving the effectiveness of humanitarian partnerships in West and Central Africa.

A number of key themes emerged from the discussions. These included:

More support and capacity building for National NGOS and civil society groups is needed

While National NGOs brought better contextual understanding and access, too often they are excluded from existing coordination mechanisms. The lack of direct donor financing for national groups was also a major issue. Participants recommended increased investment in capacity building initiatives with national actors, more formal partnerships and a look at alternative financing mechanisms, including through micro-credit or via the private sector. The need for better evaluation or even certification of national NGOs to help them access international funding was also suggested.

Improved coordination and engagement with new partners is important

There was a general agreement on the need to work better with the range of new actors particularly religious and civil society groups. This will require promoting basic standards and humanitarian principles, but also finding ways to work with groups that may be uninterested coordinating their efforts. While the role of private sector actors was still limited in the region, there was a consensus that they would be increasingly important in bringing in specialized skills and new sources of funding.

Greater investment in early warning/early action and information systems, particularly in dissemination to the local level, is needed

While the Forum recognized the increasing sophistication of national and regional systems for modelling and predicting natural disasters and even conflict, there was great concern about the failure to bring this information to the local level. This will require more use of local languages, and investing in education and training for local officials, journalists and others in charge of dissemination. Helping communities better understand and manage their own risk, including through promotion of new approaches to insurance and elsewhere will also be critical.

There was great interest in expanding innovative use of new information and communication technologies, such as satellite mapping, the use of cell phones and SMS to improve needs assessments, baseline data and other aspects of response. It was emphasized that any new projects had to be sustainable and build upon existing local infrastructure and capacity.

Resources
Summary Report of the Regional Policy Forum [EN - FR]
SESSION 1: APPROACHES TO VULNERABILITY AND RISK MANAGEMENT IN WEST AND CENTRAL AFRICA

L'interface fournisseur-utilisateur d'information et service climatique dans les systèmes d'alerte précoce

  • Léon Guy Razafindrakoto, Chef Département Veille et Prévision Météorologique, ACMAD

Enhancing effective humanitarian action and risk management in west africa

  • Okey Uzoechina, Programme Manager,  Forewarn Initiative, Humanitarian Futures Programme, King’s College London

Gap Analysis in Sustainable Adaptation Strategies in DCP

  • Dr Tahirou Diaw, Director of Laboratoire d'Enseignement et de Recherche en Géomatique, Cheikh Anta Diop University
     
  • Dr. Ousman Ndiyae, Agence nationale de l’aviation civile et de la météorologie (ANACIM)
SESSION 2: HUMANITARIAN PROGRAMMING FOR RISK REDUCTION AND RESILIENCE

La Gestion Des Risques De Catastrophe

  • Capitaine Cheikh Tine, Chef de la Division des Etudes et Opérations de la Défense Civile, Ministry of Interior (DPC)

Approaches to vulnerability and risk Management in the WCA region

  • Norbert Allale, Regional Disaster Risk Management Coordinator for Sahel Regional Office, IFRC

Humanitarian programming, risk, management including insurance and livelihood resilience

  • Koko Warner, Head of the Environmental Migration, Social Vulnerability and Adaptation Section, UNU
SESSION 3: INNOVATIVE APPROACHES TO INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION – MALI CASE STUDY

Mapping of Basic Social Services – A Case Study the IM and GIS Working Group in Mali

  • Guido Pizzini, Information Management Officer, OCHA Mali
     
  • Nicolas Chavent, Acting Project Director, OpenStreet Map
     
  • Ian Noble, Regional Manager Sub-Saharan Africa, Internews
SESSION 4: UNDERSTANDING EFFECTIVE RESPONSE AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL

Experience De Credo Dans L’asistance Aux Personnes Affectees Par Les Crises Et La Problematique De L’intervention Des Acteurs Humanitaires

  • Nestor Compaore, Coordonnateur du Programme CREDO-HCR - Sociologue,  CREDO Burkina Faso

Intervenir Efficacement au Niveau National

  • Karamoko Sanogo, Responsable du secteur Eau Hygiène Assainissement et Décentralisation, Association Action Mopti
     
  • Augusta Augier, Programme Manager, Alima
     
  • Loubna Benhayoune, Senior Humanitarian Affairs Officer, OCHA Mauritania
SESSION 5: TOWARDS A MORE OPEN AND INCLUSIVE RESPONSE SYSTEM: LEARNING FROM CIVIL SOCIETY AND THE PRIVATE SECTOR

Jupedec Ong Nationales Et Societe Civile Dans L’action Humanitaire Exemple De La RCA

  • Dr Tony Chlostern Ephiran Lakouete, Assistant Coordinateur, Jeunesse Unie pour la Protection de l'Environnement et le Developpement Communautaire (JUPEDEC)  

Inclusion Financiere Des Populations Les Plus Vulnerables Dans La Region

  • Kardiata BA, Chef du Service de la Microfinance et des Systèmes Financiers Décentralisés, Banque Centrale des Etats de l'Afrique de l'Ouest (BCEAO)
     
  • Pape N'Diaye, Directeur exécutif, Reseau Enterprendre Senegal
Briefing book [English - French]